A Friendly PSA

A Friendly PSA to all my friends and readers. I have fibromyalgia and most of you already know that if you know anything about me at all and because I’ve posted about it on other platforms. I’m also on medication for depression, and I have moderate to severe anxiety. I also go to University full time, work part time, volunteer, and do an assortment of other things. I can do these things because I’ve “lucked out” as it were—on my worst days, my fibro is not as severe as some people have on their best days.

The point of this being that I *also* know people with fibro who can barely leave their house… as well as people who are, for lack of a better term, as “functional” (or more) as I am. And it is my sincere hope that I am *never* a point of comparison—if someone tells you they have fibromyalgia and they’re in pain, or they’re not capable of doing something at that moment, or they’re really struggling, don’t compare them to me (or anyone else) in your head. I don’t want to be the reason you make someone feel bad they can’t do something. I don’t want to be “that one person you know who has fibromyalgia and they’re still able to do this, that, or the other thing”. Because as “functional” as I am, I’ve had people say to me that I “need to learn to cope with it” and I could tell they were thinking about that one person THEY knew who was, in public, managing so much better than I appeared (in that moment) to have been managing.

Making those comparisons is something I’ve often done, and I didn’t really realize just how hurtful it was until someone did it to me and accused me of not trying hard enough when I was doing the best that I could. As a person who prides myself on taking responsibility for my life and not using illness as a crutch, it was quite a blow. I guess I thought I had a free pass—as though because I dealt with it, I somehow had the right to decide how other people should or shouldn’t also be dealing with it. And to be honest, that was bullshit.